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Press release

October 23, 2013

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October, 2013 | Winners Stories | Southern California

Fate and Gratitude Play a Big Part in This Hairdresser’s Dream


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Scratchers® Game Has Second $5 Million Top Prize Winner 

SACRAMENTO – Danny Salazar is a bit “ditzy,” which he fully admits. This could explain his latest Lottery experience, but regardless of how scattered he might be, he is the Lottery’s newest millionaire after winning the $5 million top prize on the Lottery’s new $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers game.

You see, Salazar bought the winning Lottery ticket a couple of weeks ago, and when he got home, he scratched it with near disastrous consequences! “Since it didn’t win, I threw it in the trash,” he admitted. A few days later, he had a couple other non-winning tickets that he wanted to enter into the Lottery’s 2nd Chance Program, so he retrieved the ones he had thrown in the garbage. When he tried to enter the tickets on the website, it wouldn’t accept the $20 ticket. He couldn’t figure out why, so he took it to The Grove in Los Angeles and checked it at the bookstore near the farmer’s market where, unbelievably, the scanner told him it was a winner; and not just any winner, a $5 million winner! “That couldn’t be,” he thought. So the 44-year old literally ran back to his car and scratched off the entire surface and it was then that he realized he had the top prize-winning ticket in his hand.

He explains, “I was shaking, I almost lost the ticket, I actually threw it away, I threw away $5 million!” That’s true and this is how fate stepped in -- just imagine what could have happened…what if he didn’t feel like going through his own trash to find the ticket, what if it was trash collection day, what if there was no 2nd Chance Program? The mere thought of these situations makes him shudder, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I almost lost it.” But none of the “what-ifs” matter now that he has found his ticket and claimed his $5 million prize.

Salazar says he has been playing the Lottery since he turned 18 and he didn’t always know he would win, but he sure hoped he did. In fact, he recently visited the “Before I Die” project on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and wrote, “Before I die, I want to ‘win the Lottery.’” He is so very grateful for this win, he says, “Going from someone struggling financially to having this happen is surreal, I am so thankful for this.” He knows this is probably a once in a lifetime win, so he wants to make this money last. He plans to buy a house or apartment and save the rest, invest it so it works for him.

Salazar actually purchased his ticket at Centerfold’s Newsstand, located at 716 North Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. The retailer will receive a sweet bonus of $25,000 just for selling the winning ticket. 

The new game went on sale September 25 at more than 20,000 retail locations throughout the state. In its first full week of sales, players purchased an extraordinary $17.2 million worth of $5 Million Jackpot tickets. That’s nearly double the anticipated sales total for the week.

It’s not really surprising $5 Million Jackpot is so popular. Not only does it offer the best overall Scratchers odds to win prizes – players have the opportunity to walk away with the largest lump sum cash prize any of our wide variety of Scratchers has ever paid out ($5 million!). No annual payments! The game is part of the Lottery’s continued effort to give out more prizes, create more winners and earn more money for California public schools.

For information of how to $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers, click here:$20-Scratchers/%245-million-jackpot-1100.

The winning doesn’t stop there – like all Lottery Scratchers games, the $5 Million Jackpot game comes with second chances to win the top prizes. Just subscribe to our 2nd Chance Program and submit any non-winning $5 Million Jackpot Scratchers ticket codes for another chance to win.

The mission of the California Lottery is to provide supplemental funding to California schools while simultaneously supporting local communities. More than 96 cents of every dollar spent by our players goes back to local communities in the form of contributions to public schools and colleges, prizes and retail compensation. The California Lottery urges its customers to play responsibly and within their budgets. If you feel you have a gambling problem, or know someone who does, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.


See More Press Releases: October, 2013 | Winners Stories | Southern California